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Archive for the ‘Broccoli’ Category

Barbecued Udon Noodles with Grilled Plum and Broccoli Stalks

I did not include amounts for the ingredients because it’s really up to your tastes and how much vegetable/noodle ratio you prefer.  These particular vegetables coupled with the grilled plums are fabulous for flavor, color and texture with the barbecue sauce.

Ingredients:

Udon noodles 

plums, cut into six wedges each

broccoli stalks, peeled and cut into planks

kale, cut into shreds

carrots, cut into oblong slices

celery stalk, cut into oblong slices

sesame seeds

canola oil

Asian-Style  Barbecue Sauce

Directions:

Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.  If you have dry udon noodles then cook them, if you are using pre-cooked, then use the water to warm them.

Heat a grill pan on medium high and place the plum wedges and broccoli planks in the pan.  Cook on each side until you have caramelized grill marks.  Remove to a plate and set aside.

Drizzle some canola in a large wok-style pan and turn heat on medium high.  Stir-fry up the carrots and celery and then add the kale.  Cook until softened but still vibrantly green.

Add barbecue sauce to the cooked and drained noodles and mix well.  Toss the noodles with the carrots, celery and kale.  Serve garnished with the grilled plums and broccoli stalks and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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This is one of the easiest and fastest dishes to put together on this planet.  It’s also one of the most delicious.  H’s sister loves this meal so much I made it twice for her when she visited this past year and named it in her honor.  The orange zest adds an unexpected pop of  flavor that really wakes up the sauce.

 

Broccoli in No-Oyster Sauce with Cashews and Orange Peel

Ingredients:

4 cups broccoli cut into florets

1/3 cup raw cashews

Peel of one orange

1/3 cup vegetarian oyster sauce [It can also be labeled as vegetarian mushroom sauce.]

1/3 cup vegetable broth [This is optional.  I prefer to dilute the oyster sauce because it’s very thick/salty at times.  If you don’t want to add in vegetable broth simply double the amount of vegetarian oyster sauce.]

1 T cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water

Directions:

Steam broccoli for 4-5 minutes until fork tender.  While the broccoli is steaming, add oyster sauce and vegetable broth to a boil in a large fry pan or wok-style pan.  Add orange peel and cashews.  If the sauce needs thickening, pour in the cornstarch a little bit at a time.   Allow the sauce to thicken in between additions. [ You want it thick enough to coat the back of a spoon so that it will also coat the broccoli.]  After the broccoli is fork tender and the sauce is the right thickness, add broccoli to the sauce and mix well.  Serve over rice or noodles.

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Multigrain Broccoli Casserole

Because mustard is in the same family as broccoli the two flavors compliment one another really well.  Toss in a bit of dill and some cheesy flavored nutritional yeast and a great tasting casserole is right there…nearly on your table.

Ingredients:

2 cups Fine Multi Grains [You could substitute a short-grained brown rice.  I came across the Fine Multi Grains at Ranch 99 Market.]

1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

2 cups broccoli florets, cut bite-sized

1 cup broccoli stalks, peeled and diced

1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and chopped

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic

olive oil

1 quart vegetable broth [To be used as cooking liquid for the multi grains.]

fried onion pieces [I use Trader Joe’s brand.]

Béchamel Sauce:

4 cups non-dairy milk

1 head roasted garlic

2 T whole wheat flour

3/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 T vegan worchestshire sauce

2 T stoneground mustard

2 T olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp dried dill

Directions:

Cook 2 cups multi grains in vegetable broth. [You want as much flavor in the grain as possible while initially cooking it.]

Sauté onion in a drizzle of olive oil until edges are browned.  Add the garlic, almonds, chard,  broccoli florets and stalks.  Cover and set aside.

For the béchamel:  In a separate pan heat 2 T olive oil and whisk in the flour.  Cook for a couple of minutes to create a roux.  Add the roasted garlic and whisk until incorporated.  Slowly add the non-dairy milk while continuing to whisk.  Add the mustard, worchestshire, nutritional yeast, dill, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil to thicken.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. [Keep in mind that the sauce needs to be very highly seasoned in order to flavor the large quantity of rice and vegetables in the entire casserole.]

Assemble the casserole:  Add rice to the sautéed vegetables mixing thoroughly to break up any clumps of grain,  and then incorporate the sauce.  Transfer to a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle the top with crispy onion bits.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

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Creamed Broccoli Soup

 

Creamed Broccoli Soup for Two

This will yield two large dinner-sized bowls of soup.  Serve with some crusty bread to mop up the bottom of the bowl.  You can easily adjust the consistency of this soup by adding more or less water.   I wanted mine to be thick and have just enough oil and cream to give a silky feeling to the soup.   If you prefer an even creamier soup then up the amount of olive oil and/or creamer and blend a wee bit  longer.

Ingredients:

1 lb broccoli, larger stems removed or peeled to remove fibrous outer layer

1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

salt

freshly cracked black pepper

Non-dairy creamer [I used So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer]

olive oil

Directions:

Cut broccoli into small pieces and add to a pot of boiling water.  Cook until the stalks are fork tender.  Transfer broccoli to a blender and add 1 cup of the cooking water.  Blend until smooth.  Add 1/4-  1/2 cup creamer [depending upon how creamy you wish it to be], 2 T olive oil, lemon zest and nutmeg.  Blend until incorporated.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

 

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, creamer and freshly cracked pepper.  I happened to have some broccoli whose florets were blooming so I used those as a garnish as well.

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Broccoli is one of those amazing cruciferous superfoods that dwells in the same botanical family as the dark leafy greens kale and collards.   In fact, it has been described as the most super of all vegetable foods.  It’s packed full of vitamin C and beta carotene, contains folic acid and selenium and is a fantastic source of non-dairy calcium.  This cruciferous powerhouse also contains phytochemicals that have been shown to, among other things, actively stimulate our own enzymes to fight cancer-causing agents.   It’s full of fiber, both soluble and non-soluble so you get double the benefit from one source. 

When I look for broccoli in the produce section I always look for dark green verging upon purple, tightly-packed crowns and an abundant stalk.  It bothers me to no end when I can only find tightly cropped broccoli crowns.  As wonderful as the delicate florets are, once peeled of it’s fibrous exterior, the stalk is an amazing part of the vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked.   Think how wonderful an artichoke heart is.  Now you’re getting the idea!

When cooking broccoli solo, I always steam it, and never for more than 4-5 minutes or until the stalk is just fork-tender.  The broccoli will be a vibrantly-colored bright green.  Just squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over it and dive in.  It’s one of our favorite vegetables and I look forward to using it liberally this month. 

 

Note:   If your broccoli has become an army tent green in color and crumbles off a fork?  You’ve overcooked it and please do future generations a favor and never feed this version to a child because they will forever hate broccoli, specifically, and most other vegetables if you do.   

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The exciting life of being a resident doesn’t afford me much time to cook.  Usually, I bake, because I seem to have better luck baking than cooking.  D’s the chef; I’m the baker.  However, I like to do my part when I can, and I’d rather not leave cooking for just special occasions.  My goal is to cook at least one dinner for us a week, but depending on my schedule, that doesn’t always happen.

I had the day off today, so earlier in the week I planned to cook dinner tonight.  I’m a recipe follower, and recently D dug out from still packed moving boxes my copy of Veganomicon:  The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook.  I bought this book a couple of years ago when I was on my second attempt at going vegan (third time’s a charm, eh?).  Infamously, I once tried to make seitan from a recipe in this book, and I failed miserably, though I’m sure the failure was due to the user, not the recipe.  Because I’d failed I was afraid to try to make anything else from this cookbook…until now.  With a tighter resolve to be vegan and a newfound like (though, slowly I will admit, although D’s gyros are the bomb, but I digress…) of all things made with vital wheat gluten, I decided I’d make Veganomicon’s Chickpea Cutlets.

Chickpea Cutlets

I used vegetable broth as opposed to water and lightly fried them in olive oil in a skillet rather than baking (the baking option was listed in the actual cookbook and not in the posted link).  I am including a view from above the plate so that the perspective can be seen of their size, but I’m also posting an up close shot, as it shows more detail texturally.

Chickpea Cutlets, Up Close

I believe we’re the last vegans on the planet to try these.  I think the flavor of them is very tasty, but I think next time I’ll make them even thinner just so they’re a bit crispier on the inside.  With the cutlets, and also from Veganomicon, I made a vegan Caesar salad with homemade ciabatta garlic croutons.  OMG, yum.  D would have been blissfully happy had I only made this, but she said she really liked everything.  She said she just hadn’t realized how much she’d missed Caesar salad until tonight.  She also kept snaking croutons when my back was turned, and I had to chase her out of the kitchen.  Heh.  The only thing I did differently from the recipe was add approximately a teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce.

Vegan Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Croutons

Finally, I just steamed up some broccoli in our bamboo steamer.  I added nothing to it, because broccoli is so, so, so good unaltered (though we do sometimes sprinkle a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice over it from time to time).

Steamed Broccoli

I emerged from the kitchen unscathed, aside from a burn on my finger from tossing the croutons halfway through baking.  I was going to make dessert (that’ll be a separate post) to accompany dinner, but I’m stuffed, and I’m enjoying our new sofa too much to move.  🙂

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